March 16, 2019 5:39 pm

Much-loved Kingston record store reopens after major 2018 flooding

After a massive flood, a public donation campaign and many calls to his insurance company, a long-time downtown Kingston business owner has reopened his record store. Many costumers returned Saturday to buy and look through Brian Lipsin's vast collection of vinyl.


“This is the first purchase,” said Brian Lipsin, owner of Brian’s Record Option, as he served his first costumer at his grand reopening Saturday.

Closed for seven months, the long-time downtown business, along with two restaurants, experienced severe flooding damage during last summer’s ‘Big Dig’ in Kingston’s downtown core.

After the flood, the community came together to support Mr. Lipsin.

Many residents helped with the clean-up, salvaging what could be saved and raising money.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Owners of flooded businesses in Kingston humbled by support

Michael Crowder, who has been a customer since he was 17 years old, said he raised $10,000 through a GoFundMe campaign.

“Over the years being a teenager, I came down here. Bought the odd CD, buy another poster,” Crowder said. “It was a staple, basically, of growing up and getting anything music.”

WATCH: Businesses could be closed for months after Kingston flooding (August 2018)

Story continues below

Lipsin opened his store 40 years ago with $2,000, at the age of 29.

He says what he missed most since the flood that shut down his business were his costumers and their stories.

“The seven months, I’ve missed making a living, but it’s the people,” Lipsin said. “Just stories, you know? That’s what it’s all about, I think.”

For many of his loyal customers, they’re just glad they got their guy back on his feet.

“This is my home away from home,” said one customer. “I’ve been lost in here a few times.”

“I would say to people, ‘What do I do to thank you?’ And everyone says, ‘Open your store!’ Which I’ve done,” Lipsin said with a smile.

READ MORE: Kingston’s Brian’s Record Option owner says he will reopen in the coming weeks

For his part, Lipsin says he’ll remain the leader of the band at his record store well into his 80s, as long as his memory remains intact.

Speaking to a customer, Lipsin said, laughing, “When I was a kid and I was in my room listening to Frank Zappa and my mother comes into the room and yells at the top of her lungs, ‘I’m raising an idiot!'”


© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.